Sweden is often praised as one of the, if not the, most successful welfare states in the world. Many progressives around the world take the country´s strong welfare system, pared with a healthy economy, as an example. According to a recent survey by World Economic Forum Sweden stands out as the best country in the world to live in, with top rankings in areas like gender equality and business climate. But something in this does not seem to translate into reality. Polls suggest that many Swedes do not think that their country is heading in the right direction, and the political situation is becoming more and more uneasy with minority governments and threats of snap elections. The Social Democrats, often attributed for Sweden’s success, seem to be heading for one of their worst election results ever, just around 30%. And how could a populist right wing party, that has its roots in 80s neo-nazism, become the third largest party and parliamentary kingmaker in the world’s most successful welfare state?
Each left-wing movement in Europe has its own intricansies, but almost all of them were born of the Labour movement. After the industrial revolution, poor people, working class rallied together in center-left parties for more rights like paid sick leave, Universal Healthcare, social benefits. Social democratic parties were the party where the masses rallied in hope for a better life. Now the masses couldn’t be more detached from Social democratic parties. In Britain, the Labour Party is just the third most popular party among the working class, in France, the Front National also leads by a wider margin among working class while the socialist party drowns in popularity with this group of people and the same story happens in the Netherlands, Austria and many other countries. Center left parties are, in some cases, more popular among rich people than with poor people. Why this is happening? Very simple: Center left parties were once the party of the poor, unemployed, the factory worker, the uneducated, disaffected the one who was against the establishment. Now Center left parties are the party of the well connected, the rich, the college professor and the corporate lawyer.
Center left parties had once a clear agenda because they were made by working class people and for working class people; they knew clearly what they want and what were their priorities. They knew their struggles and their problems and wanted to solve them. Now, center left parties aren’t made essentially by the same people as before. They are leaded by elitist people who don’t have a clue how life is outside college campus or big cities. For some of these elitist people, going to a disaffected community or a desindustrialized area may be a field trip or a campaign stop but it will be never be their reality, their struggle, their problems, so working class or people in those communtities will never see them as their own representative.
Ayer fue un día triste para el socialismo español. Ayer, mientras seguíamos discutiendo sobre un proceso interno que cada día que pasa nos va enfrentando un poco más, murió a los 46 años Carme Chacón a causa de problemas cardiacos.
Carme Chacón materializaba gran parte del ideario socialista. De familia humilde, gracias a sus profundas convicciones progresistas, a su gran trabajo como concejala de Esplugas de Llobregat y a su labor como observadora en la OSCE , consiguió hacerse un hueco en el mundo de la política. Fue una férrea defensora de la “Nueva Vía” de Zapatero y todos los valores que ella representaba, convirtiéndose en una de los miembros más populares del gobierno del presidente socialista.
Carme Chacón fue la primera mujer en llegar al cargo de Ministra de Defensa en España, pero no fue sólo eso, fue mucho más. Continue reading “La Primera de Muchas”
El pasado sábado día 25 de Marzo, se cumplía el 60 aniversario de la firma del Tratado de Roma que dio origen a lo que hoy conocemos como Unión Europea.
Si volvemos la vista atrás para ver cuánto se ha avanzado, podremos observar que ya han pasado 30 años desde que por primera vez un estudiante europeo cogiera sus maletas y enfrentándose a lo desconocido hiciera “un Erasmus”. No resulta descabellado pensar que aquellos que marcaron la senda del programa más popular entre estudiantes europeos , al principio, lucharían contracorriente para poder emprender su aventura hacia tierras europeas.